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This weekend, a total lunar eclipse, will allow heavenly observers to see the moon turn into dark red when it descends into the shadow of the Earth.
The eclipse that will happen on the night of January 20-21
The full moon of January is sometimes called the "lunar wolf" in the folk tradition, because it happens during the year when hungry wolves sprouted outside the villages. And since the moon will be closest to Earth in its elliptical orbit around our planet this weekend, it will be a "supermone". As a result of these special cases – and because the lunar eclipses are also known as "blood moons" – some call this eclipse "the super-wolf moon."
During a lunar eclipse, sunlight falling on the surface of the moon is blocked by the Earth as it passes between the sun and the moon. As the shadow begins to fall on the moon's surface, it appears that a bite is removed from the moon, a phase known as partial eclipse.
This weekend's partial eclipse will start at 22:33. ET. The totality, when the Moon blushes as it slides completely into the earth's shadow, will follow at 23:41.
Here are five things we need to know about eclipse: 1. Though it's going to be an overmonthly lunar eclipse, you probably will not be able to understand. Since supermodern appears only slightly larger in the night sky than the moon at other points in its orbit, this eclipse will not look much different than the others.
"If you take a baseball and tennis ball, put them side by side and look at them from a distance of about 20 feet, they will look pretty similar," said Patrick Hartigan, an astrophysicist at Rice University in Houston. "This is the difference between the greatest possible supermone and the smallest possible moon."
2. You do not need special equipment. While watching a solar eclipse requires special protective glasses, lunar eclipses can be safely watched with the naked eye.
"If you have a binocular or a small telescope, you may get a better view, but you do not really need that," said Hartigan, adding that this is a sky observation that is great for kids. "This is a fun natural phenomenon and a good way to illustrate the geometry and movements in the sky, so it's a wonderful educational experience for the kids."
3. If you were on the Moon during the eclipse, the view will be outside this world. Moon eclipses are dramatic events observed here on Earth. Viewed from the Moon, they are even more spectacular. If you stood on the Moon when the Earth began blocking sunlight, the darkness would fall around you. But if you look up you will see a light ring in the darkened sky as the sunlight illuminates the edge of the atmosphere around the Earth's disk, according to the lunar and planetary institute. You will basically see a solar eclipse. 4. If you omit this, you will not be able to see another complete lunar eclipse until 2021. The next total eclipse of the lunar, visible in the United States, will happen on May 26, 2021. Another total lunar eclipse , apparently in the United States on May 16, 2022.
Similar to the eclipse of this weekend, both eclipses will have supermonths – although they will not arrive until the early morning hours. "If you miss both, and you want the supermoney, and you want it to be early in the evening, you will have to wait until 2050," said Hartigan.
5. Like all solar and lunar eclipses, this acts as a time machine . Lunar and solar eclipses occur in cycles, and each eclipse differs poorly in the way the Earth, the Sun and the Moon are aligned. This means that each eclipse is essentially identical to the others that happened before. The eclipse is part of a cycle of lunar eclipses that began on October 25, 1874. The last identical occurred on January 9, 2001, and the next identical would appear on January 31, 2037. Identical eclipses would occur every 18 years until July 26, 2325, when the cycle ends.
"These eclipses come back long before the dawn of the written word and they will go all the way to the future," said Hartigan. "Who knows what this world will be in 2325? Perhaps they will think of us in 2019 – if there are even other people. "
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